Berklee and Boston Conservatory Merge

A Letter from Roger H. Brown and Richard Ortner

Dear Members of the Berklee Community,

It is our pleasure to announce that as of June 1, 2016, the merger of The Boston Conservatory and Berklee is "official," and we are effectively one institution. All papers have been signed, regulatory and accreditation approvals are in place, and our administration and support services are aligned to best serve our students.

From left: Roger H. Brown and Richard Ortner

This is a transformational moment in the history of our two institutions. From the announcement of the memorandum of understanding in June 2015, through the board approvals in December 2015, to our formal signing ceremony in February 2016, individuals throughout our institutions have come together and worked tirelessly to make the merger a reality. Today we can report that we are now fully poised to realize our vision of becoming the world’s most comprehensive and dynamic training ground for music, dance, theater, and related professions.

Evidence of things to come is represented by the seven Tony nominations for Berklee and Boston Conservatory alumni, the high-energy West Side Story dance performance featured at Berklee's 2016 commencement concert, and the strong demand by Berklee students for elective dance courses, including hip-hop dance taught by new Boston Conservatory faculty member Duane Lee Holland Jr. We are also ecstatic to be planning the newly merged institution’s first-ever opera program in Valencia, Spain. The most exciting thing about these new initiatives is that our students are leading the way, bringing the value and promise of one institution to life through their many collaborations.

We want to express our deepest thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of this merger, with special thanks to board chairs Jeff Shames (Berklee) and David Scott Sloan (Boston Conservatory). Their leadership was pivotal to the smooth transition to a combined board of trustees, and in setting the vision for our new institution.

We know that surprising and unexpected synergies will emerge as our communities unite; indeed, that’s the power of joining two institutions with such an abundance of creative and passionate students, faculty, staff, and alumni. We have a truly unique opportunity to create an educational environment that will enable the next generation of performing artists and arts professionals to thrive and lead the field. We are fully energized to make this a reality for current and future students at the combined institution, and we count on your creativity to help us blaze these new trails.

We hope you find the information on the following pages helpful toward understanding our vision and hopes for this merger, and take advantage of the opportunity to send us your comments and questions:

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Roger H. Brown
President, Berklee

Richard Ortner
President, Boston Conservatory at Berklee